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CS Matiang’i speaks on shutting down social media during 2022 polls

Interior Cabinet Secretary Dr Fred Matiang’i has addressed claims that the government has intentions of shutting down social media ahead or during the 2022 General Election.

Through his official Twitter page, the CS dismissed the claims noting that Kenya is a strong democracy that believes in respecting the rights of her citizens.

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“Our challenge number one is the misuse and abuse of social media. That’s what we are going to deal with. You know some governments because they are not a strong and as a democratic as ours, resort to shutting down the internet or disabling Facebook. Kenya is not going to do that

“We are a democracy that has matured, we are facing an election which is going to demonstrate even out greater democratic maturity. We are going to be fine, we are not going to resort to those other tactics,” he said.

CS Matiang’i, however, noted that the relevant agencies will be on high alert and will deal firmly with anyone found guilty of using social media to incite or attack others.

“But you know, some of us have gone to animal levels, you wake up in the morning publish things which hurt others and they lies and you don’t care. I think we may have to find a way of dealing with those animals,” he said.

In January this year, Uganda announced shutdown of social media channels in the country ahead of Thursday’s General Election.

Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) denied allegations of imposing restrictions on communication channels, noting that it had not been given any directive to disrupt social media or slow down the internet.

Speaking while addressing journalists, Uganda President Yoweri Museveni said Facebook refused to heed the appeals by the government to unblock his supporters’ social media pages and following Facebook’s refusal, the government then shut down the internet.

“There is no way anybody can come here and play around with our country and decide who is good and who is bad

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“I’m therefore very sorry about the inconvenience to those who have been using this channel. We cannot tolerate the arrogance of anybody coming here to decide for us who is good and who is bad,” Museveni said.

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